Hedge laying is an old practise that was used predominantly on hedges as a border for farmers fields. It enables hedgerows to re-generate whilst keeping livestock in or keeping the field boundary. When a hedge gets to a certain age, if not maintained, it can become “gappy” at the bottom and less effective as security or as a barrier for livestock. By laying it, it strengthens the bottom of the hedge and stops this happening for years to come. A hedge that has been laid, especially something thorny such as Hawthorne (Crataegus monogyna) is much harder to get through at the base compared to a hedge that has been left to leave gaps at the base. This makes it better as a security measure.
Another reason to lay your hedge is that it looks good. After a while, a hedge may become untidy if not maintained and by laying the hedge, it tidies it and looks smart. It can look very impressive around a property and will stand out from others around. It then becomes very easy to maintain from then on.
By keeping the hedge and laying it, it also keeps an important corridor for wildlife and by hedge laying and regenerating it, this corridor will remain for years to come.